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Best Mouse Traps: Kids and Pet Safe Solution

Updated on March 1, 2012

Mouse droppings | Now what?

Finding the best mouse trap will do you no good, unless you folllow a three step process. A while back, we bought a house that had been vacant for a year. I found lots of little brownish black specs in drawers, the top of the hung cabinets, in closets and in the pantry, there were even some in the bathtub; great mouse poop ! I never saw the little rodent squatters when I visited the house, but I went on a cleaning frenzy the day we closed our home purchase. Shortly after we moved in, in the wee hours in the morning, I began hearing sounds in the walls and in the ceiling when all was quiet. Ghosts? I wish! This mouse problem took me several months to solve and lead me on a search to find the best mouse trap.

•My first mistake: thinking that sanitizing my home would take care of my mouse problem.
•My second mistake: thinking that 5 very noisy kids would scare the mice away
•And third: Not researching the problem; I assumed a few mousetraps would catch the mice and that would be the end of it.

How to trap | How many mouse traps do you need?

No, it's not a joke. At the time, I had never heard of IPM [Integrated Pest Management] or even thought of hiring an exterminator. After 3 months of losing the mice battle, I begged our little farm stores' clerk to help me. He informed me that experts say you need two to three mouse traps for every mouse you have. How can one tell how many mice they have? And more importantly, experts recommned ruling out exactly which rodent is sharing your home with you. Rats!? That hadn't even entered my mind!

What really astonsihed me; I learned that one pair of mice can produce 4,500 mice in one year. Eek! That's an army. Mice can reproduce at an alarming rate, starting at just 5 weeks old, gestation period 19 days, and they can do this 6 to 8 times a year with 4 to 8 pups per litter. Pups, not a typo, that's what baby mice are called. I couldn't bear to think about how many mice were in the corridors of my walls. That could be a lot of mouse traps.

Rodent Control: Rats or Mice?

At the time, I knew it was one or the other; secretly, I prayed for the smallest rodent. Big rat traps scare me. I learned that most rats live outside in burrows they make in the ground, some even live on or near roofs, known as roof rats. Rats will come inside a structure if there is an invitation; a food or water source. Rats drink a lot of water everyday, whereas, mice get most their water from moisture in food, and can go for days with no fluids. Rats will travel over a hundred feet from their burrow to a food source; mice nests are about 35 feet from the nearest food source. After a through check, we decided it was just plain ole house mice traps would work.

How to catch a mouse - Mouse Habits

Reading yahooanswers, I noticed people often ask how catch a mouse or what is the best mouse trap. I've discovered that answer lies not entirely in the best mouse trap, but in knowing the habits of the mouse they are trying to catch. Where do the live and what are they snacking on.

Did you know the smallest opening a mouse can squeeze through is a hole the size of a pencil eraser; the largest hole they need is the size a dime? A rat on the other hand can get his plump body through a one inch hole, roughly the size of a quarter. And while we are talking about money, rodent damage can cost plenty. Keep an eye out for small holes, those are the ones you will need to plug up.

Best Humane Mouse Traps

Victor Professional Electronic Mouse Trap - Kills up to 3 Mice per Setting - M250PRO
Victor Professional Electronic Mouse Trap - Kills up to 3 Mice per Setting - M250PRO

Victor Humane Electronic Mouse Trap Model:M250 is 100 percent effective as the mice have no escape. It is safe for children and pets and there is no chance of being shocked as it has an automatic shutoff. A light notifies you when mouse is captured. This is a no see, no touch, easy disposal mouse trap. It eliminates up to 3 mice without having to be reset and runs on 4 AA batteries.


Mouse in Toilet

Photo via Flikr by Chikta Wantanbe
Photo via Flikr by Chikta Wantanbe | Source

Mouse Poison - Unintended Consequences

Have you ever poured yourself a bowl of cereal only to notice it included a dead mouse? As you can imagine, it's quite nasty. That happened the morning after I set out mouse poison and traps. The mice outsmarted the snap traps, but stole the poison pellets; its sounded like a good idea.

Some mouse poisons dry up the rodents body fluids, so they go in search of a fluid souorce. Since mice need very little fluid, my guess is mousey was after the raisins in my granola cereal. While rodent poison does work, it has unintended consequences; make sure your pets and children do not handle or ingest mouse poison also called rodenticide. Rats and some field mice may go outside to find water or possibly, like my house mouse incident, will look for it within the 35 feet they know well.

Dead Mouse Smell

Well into my second month of mom vs mice, I started noticing putrid odors that just appearred out of nowhere. Dead rotting mice between the walls cause rancid aromas for days or even weeks, depending on the climate and number of dead mice. Realistically, rodent removal from inside the wall, would involve a lot of work, finding an odor removal method that works would be better. Live bodies, rotting or dried up carcasses, breed parasites as well. The rodenticides are often injected into grains that mice bring into their nests; in your walls, closets, boxes and other places mice call home. Unfortunately, mouse poisons have no effect on the insects.

Dead Mouse Smell in the Wall and No Rust, Waterproof Hole Repair Method

Fresh Wave Continuous Release Odor Removing Gel, 63 oz. Jar (3 lbs. 15 oz.)
Fresh Wave Continuous Release Odor Removing Gel, 63 oz. Jar (3 lbs. 15 oz.)

Get rid of the Dead Mouse Smell in the Wall:

Fresh Wave Continuous Release Odor Eliminator Gel- My grandson is allergic to all kinds of scents, and while I'm not that sensitive, I can smell everything. When you have a dead mouse in the wall, this stuff works, plain and simple. Open the jar, and the air is refreshed on a continous basis. Air fresheners, scented candles, plugins scents and powdered carpet freshners can't compete. It is made with natural ingredients which neutralize the air. You smell it when you first open it, and then you get used to it, suddenly you think its not working because you no longer smell the scent, BUT, you also stop smelling the rancid putrid dead mouse scent. This jar actually works for all kinds of odors and is well worth the money. It tends to last longer in the winter as opposed to the summer, as it evaporates due to the heat. This will absolutly get rid of your mouse odors, especially the dead one you can't get to in your walls.

Stuff-It Copper Mesh 691331
Stuff-It Copper Mesh 691331

Eliminate Rust left by Steel Wool Use Stuff it Copper Mesh instead:

To block the holes where mice are coming in, Stuffit is the answer. This is a 100 ft roll, 6 inched wide. We found out the hard way the the often recommended steel wool solution does rust. When the steel wool gest wet and drips it will cause rust stains. I ruined several paint jobs, and had to redo an area around my expensive bay window. It would have been a lot cheaper if I had used this. Use Stuffit instead of steel wool for sealing up holes that rodents enter. This product contains a mixture of brass and copper. The company claims it's rustproof and stainproof, so far, it has held up in my home and we used it about 13 months ago. We also used it in the pipes around the furnace were the little critters were coming in. I can be used around plumbing, vents, HVAC, door jambs and other places pests enter. Used by the professsional exterminator industry.

1 Can of Black Foam with Dispenser
1 Can of Black Foam with Dispenser

Use Black Foam with the Stuff it Copper mesh for an all around solution to sealing up holes where mice enter your home. You can use this around door frames, bulkheads and other places where needed. Used in combination with Stuffit copper mesh, it is a better solution than steel wool which can rust and leave streaks and well as eat away paint. This black foam does not drip or rust. I could not find anything that said you can paint over it, but we did and it still blends in. We had a small hole under our window sill were mice weezled their way in. We plugged it with the Stuffit and some of the Black Foam, let it dry and now our waterproof seal is painted to match our home.

NOW  Peppermint Oil, 16-Ounce
NOW Peppermint Oil, 16-Ounce

This is such a great product and it really works on keeping the mice out of your cabinets. It does have a strong peppermint odor, but it's not too overbearing. Dab a small bit on some cotton, make sure its a good dab, as mice do love cotton, but with the peppermint on it, mice will run away fast. Peppermint is a known deterrent to mice. I was leary of other bug infestation, but I have not seen any in the 4 years I have been using this method. I have used other brands, but this is the only one that seems to have staying power and does not evaporate quickly. Make sure to change or add more peppermint oil once a month. My mom used it in a spray bottle diluted with water and sprayed it around her garage walls and bulkhead, she said she noticed less mouse activity.


Mouse Steals Trap Via Steelrod at Youtube

Snap Traps or Spring Loaded Traps

Some mouse hunters use snap traps as they are the most popular due to their price. The cheapest mousetraps are the old fashioned wood platform spring loaded mouse trap, While they do work, they are not the best mouse trap in my book. This basic model has evolved into a plastic version such as the Snap E trap, Tomcat Mouse Trap, Easy Set, and Eaton Jaws mouse traps, but most snap traps produce a violent messy death. I can't stomach the site of a dead bloody mouse. Worse yet, a mouse flipping around in a trap, not yet dead. Then what do you do? How does one euthanize the mouse? I've heard horrible solutions I couldn't imagine myself doing: hammer, drowning, garbage…things I really didn't want to contend with.

Humane Mouse Traps: no-kill or quick-kill?

In my third month of the mice war, I caught my four year old playing with a mouse trap, that was enough snap mouse traps for me. They weren't really working as expected, and the possibility of kids getting into the poison pellets had me on edge from the start. I set out to hunt for a child safe mouse trap which hadn't been available at my local store and I came upon what's known as a humane mouse trap. Through different animal rights groups, I had learned that humane mouse traps were no kill traps.

However good intentioned I tried to be, I learned that humane traps have unintended consequences as well. Using a humane mouse trap has to be thought through to the end before you catch your mice. Since the point of a humane trap is to set the mice free, you need to how and where you will transport your wild mouse to it new relocated home.

How will you handle the mouse safely without touching it? Mice transmit over 35 diseases directly and indirectly.People with allergies can be very sensitve to mice hair, feces and urine; I read it can cause asthma attacks.
•What if the mice entered someones HVAC ducts and the rodent contaminates were recirculated in their home?
•What if it entered a food storage facility, a food silo, a barns' feed bins and infected the food supply?
•What if the mice gnawed on wires in someplace else and the house burnt down?
•How far away is considered a safe distance to keep the mice from re-entering my home, my neighbors home or any other building?
•Will the mice survive after living in my comfy cozy home after all that trouble?

Too many "what if's," in this mouse trap game. This humane trap idea was not as easy a resolution as I had thought. I'm not sure if I felt more guilty setting the mice free; free to cause damage, or just killing it in a trap and not having any of those worries.

Glue Traps

Glue traps also known as glue boards or sticky traps, do not make the top of the list for humane traps. Glue boards pose the same problem as other traps when it comes to mice suffering a horrible death. These traps must be checked often and discarded intact with mice; if left for days it wil cause odors and possible insect infestations. Finding a mouse still alive, struggling to get free, missing one leg which is now stuck to the glue board is a scary sight for a toddler to see. My son requested we free the mouse; with vegetable oil in hand, I tried to free the mouse but wound up getting bit instead. This was worse than the Humane trap no matter how I looked at it. With the thought of 35 transmitted rodent diseases, I was off to the doctor.

Electronic Mouse Trap - My Best Mouse Trap Solution

The "other" humane mouse trap, or so it's claimed, is an electronic mouse trap . This mouse trap was and still is the answer to all my problems; it is child safe, pet safe, provided a quick clean death for the pest, easy to dispose of, no chance of finding a live body, no blood, no missing body parts, no poison involved, automatic shut off so you don't get zapped, and it is very simple to set up - unlike the touchy snap traps.

The electronic mouse trap is a bit more expensive than snap mouse traps , sticky glue boards , mouse cubes , enclosure traps, and other mouse contraptions, but it is well worth the money when it gets the job done effiiciently. I have tried 2 brands of electronic mouse traps, all similar in construction, number of batteries and effectivness, however they do vary in price, some as high as $100, but those are mostly multiple kill mouse traps.

How to Get Rid of Mice

My favorite economical humane mouse trap are Victor M2524 or the Victor Pro M250; for larger areas, like our barn, we had great luck with the Victor M260 multi kill humane mouse trap.

Choose the best mouse trap for the environment in which you will use it, for example, we used the larger multi kill electronic mouse trap in our barn instead of the single electronic mouse trap as it drew in mice from the field. Try to think your mouse control strategy through to the end, so you will be successful the first time around. The mouse control method that you choose has to be one that you can accept, live with, and perform conistently.

I tried the no-kill mouse trap because I wanted to teach my children that even mice have rights, but after getting bit, and and ensuing lecture from my doctor, I now understand rodent health hazards to humans. Further research led me to horrifying situations regarding the property damage and fires rodents create by gnawing on wires in homes. It didn't stop there, gruesome articles about infant deaths caused by rodents, needless to say, I got my priorities straight. I had a pet mouse as a kid, so I have a soft spot for mice, nonetheless, wild rodents - however cute - are not pets, they are pests,

Along with the best mouse trap you discover , be sure to repair holes where the mice enter your building, sanitize any areas where you have found evidence of mice, and regularly inspect those areas; but as I have learned, you are never totally mouse proof.

And if you are battling with Pantry Moths left from Mr and Mrs. Mouse, this solution is an informative quick read which is sure to help you solve that problem.

Pantry Moths How to get rid of them forever

Did you know?

Did you know according to the CDC rodents carry more than 35 diseases?

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      Ivriniel 4 years ago

      I few years ago I worked at a school with a mouse problem. Glue traps were set up in the classroom to catch them. One day we had a fire drill, and as the Ed Assistant in one of the kindergarten rooms went to close the front door of the classroom, while the kids went out the back door, she somehow managed to step on two glue trap set up next to the door, one on each foot. I'm told she looked like she was wearing clown shoes. She was so mortified that she made the teacher help her peel them off her feet before she would leave the building.

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      Help from ohio 4 years ago

      In my house the mouse or mice, not sure, will come out during the day and scare me, I have a 16 month old and her room is next to the kitchen where the mouse seems to be residing. I have had a mouse problem before and got rid of it. My question is how do you know where the mouse is entering your home? There are so many places to check.. And how can I feel safe placing my daughter in her bed? We are currently using snap traps in the places where my daughter cannot access and glue traps in other places. But it doesn't catch them quick enough for me. Any advice?

    • The-BestMouseTrap profile image

      Pam Valentine 5 years ago from The Heartland, USA

      SweetiePie: You truly live up to your name!!! Words can't express how thankful I am!

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I am going to stumble your mouse trap website. I think this can be useful to many people, especially those living in older houses.

    • The-BestMouseTrap profile image

      Pam Valentine 5 years ago from The Heartland, USA

      Sweetie Pie, yes thanks for asking, I do have a website which is listed above where it say Best Mouse Trap Feed, but the feed contains all my links all over the web, so to make it simple for others reading, its, and thank for asking!

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 5 years ago from Southern California, USA

      This is good info for those who have mice problems. Do you have a website? I actually know people with mice problems, and they might be able to use more of your info.

    • The-BestMouseTrap profile image

      Pam Valentine 5 years ago from The Heartland, USA

      Infiniteresearch, Yes, I hope it never happens to you. In my very first apartment, seems like 100 years ago, I had mice but didn't recognize the signs. I discovered them when I packed up everything to move; things that had been in closets for 2 years, were slowly being eaten away!

    • Infiniteresearch profile image

      Infiniteresearch 5 years ago from Ohio

      Great advice, so glad I haven't experienced this...but definitively noting this one for what to do should I get an invasion of mice :-)

    • Sinea Pies profile image

      Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

      Thanks so much for the "Pantry Moths" hub link!

    • The-BestMouseTrap profile image

      Pam Valentine 5 years ago from The Heartland, USA

      Supergood-Thanks, its my first, glad you got something uesful from it

      World-Traveler-Yes, you area of the country has really bad problems as I learned when I reserached this topic, thanks for the tip on pluggin up the holes, we use copper mesh instead of steel wool since it doesn't leave rusty drips.

    • World-Traveler profile image

      World-Traveler 5 years ago from USA

      I have learned a lot from your two posts. I have had mouse problems in both Thailand, South Korea and in Mexico. One method I use to avoid mice getting into my accommodations is I check to see where they are coming in from. Then I plug the holes. That avoids further nuisance via the varments.

      You provide very useful information in both of your posts about rodent control. Thank you. Voted UP, useful and interesting.

    • supergood profile image

      supergood 5 years ago

      Very informative.